Genealogy Blog

29 February 2008

Halvor Moorshead retires today

"I am retiring on Friday, 29 February 2008

I wish I had the capacity to e-mail everyone with whom I do business - and my friends – individually about the following but this is not practical so I am sending out this general announcement about important changes affecting our publishing

I have sold Moorshead Magazines - which includes Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, History Magazine and the new Discovering Family History and will be retiring. The sale finalizes on Friday 29 February 2008.

This is not quite as radical as it first sounds. I am selling the company to two of the staff - Ed Zapletal and Rick Cree. They have made it clear that their main reason for buying the company is that they do NOT want any changes. There will obviously be some differences as I will be out of the picture, but there will be no staff changes.

Victoria, Marc and Jeannette will be continuing in the same roles.

I turned 65 in November and want time to travel and do other things with Marian (my wife) while we are still capable (I also plan on spending a lot of time researching my own genealogy!). I also want to do more lecturing.

I am intensely proud of what we have done with Moorshead Magazines - we have dedicated, loyal and highly experienced staff. Ed and Rick have both been with me for 24 years - way, way before we published Family Chronicle. We work very well together and we have been pretty successful.

Things are going well – Discovering Family History looks as though it will become another success story and this is important to me; I very much want to retire on a high note.

Part of the sale agreement is that I will act as a consultant related to the magazines for three years so I am not entirely cut off. In addition, I plan to be at the NGS Annual Convention in Kansas City in May, largely to say goodbye personally to the many friends I have made in the genealogy field over the years."

27 February 2008

New Genealogy Guide for Finland Research

FamilySearch announced the release of a free new research tool that will help those with Finnish roots to find their ancestors. The research guide, Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Finland, features easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, colorful graphics, and tear-out worksheets.

The 37 page guide simplifies the research process and is a must-have reference tool for researchers of Finnish genealogy. It explains different types of records in Finland and instructs the user when and how to use specific records. A real-life case study allows readers to see for themselves how the research process works. Expert search tips, including tips on how to use the Family History Library Catalog, are included. Also included are maps, key dates in Finnish history, and guides for reading Finnish genealogical records.

Additional guides in the Finding Records of Your Ancestors series published previously include African American, Denmark, France,
Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden.

26 February 2008

SmartDraw 2008.31

SmartDraw 2008.31 has been released.


• The new chart controls give you more flexibility to customize your charts and graphs.
• Increase or decrease the granularity of your chart through the new “tick mark” controls. Or change where and how the legend is displayed.
• Now you can tell SmartDraw exactly how many images you want repeated in each section of your chart. Or you can have each image represent a precise number of units.
• Over a thousand new symbols and over a hundred new SmartTemplates to help you manage and run your business—including forms and worksheets for finance, inventory control, human resources, and more.
• Ability to work faster and more efficiently with Keytips—keyboard shortcuts for all menu items.
• More than 300 new SmartTemplates for crime scene investigation, medical examination, case planning, and more.

MacFamilyTree 5.1 beta 2

MacFamilyTree 5.1 beta 2 has been released.


• Fixed demo mode issues for some registered users.
• Fixed pixelated pictures in charts.
• Some minor issues fixed.

Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Fixed a small problem with Potential Problems.

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.73

Brother’s Keeper 6.2.73 has been released.


• Fixed a bug in 6.2.72 version where Edit was giving errors when adding new events.
• Sometimes the “Convert date format” routine would not convert dates starting with a single digit.
• Birthday list was sometimes including people older than the computed age maximum that was set in Options.
• Fixed overflow error if making Register Book report and making RTF file and a person had a note with a single paragraph longer than 32,000 characters.

25 February 2008

Heraldists want penis reinstated on military badge

Sweden's chief heraldists remain dissatisfied with a decision by the Nordic Battlegroup to remove a lion's penis depicted on its coat of arms.

But staff at the National Archives are hopeful that the Nordic Battlegroup will reconsider its position and re-erect the lion's member on its insignia.

"They stepped over the line when they made alterations to the badge without consulting us. It was a clear breach of copyright," said state heraldist Henrik Klackenberg.

Although the heraldry unit is unlikely to take any legal action, Klackenberg said he would appreciate an apology from the Armed Forces.

"We could make the dimensions a bit smaller, for example. Once we were commissioned to create a similar symbol for Swedish Customs. When they thought it was a bit much they sent it back to us and we just shrank the organ," said Klackenberg.

Though clearly irritated by the army's attack on the lion's virility, Sweden's state heraldist admitted he was fascinated by the story's global appeal.

The Nordic Battlegroup is one of eighteen such military groups in the European Union. Some 2,000 of its 2,400 soldiers come from Sweden, with the rest coming from Finland, Norway, Ireland and Estonia.

23 February 2008

Genea 1.2

Genea 1.2 has been released.

New features:

• GEDCOM Import/Export.

MacFamilyTree 5.1 beta 1

MacFamilyTree 5.1 beta 1 has been released.


• Media Browser: display essential information (media title, person name, date of birth).
• Media Browser: quickly access all pictures in the database (other media types will be supported in the near future).
• Media Browser: quickly access Edit Mode for all people with attached media in the database.
• Fan Chart: fully editable as with all charts and reports in MacFamilyTree 5.
• Fan Chart: flexibly and interactively set the number of generations.
• Fan Chart: adjustable fan angle from 90° to 360°.

• Fan Chart: automatically increase cell size to fit information also for distant generations.
• Fan Chart: autocoloring of generations for quick results.
• Fan Chart: selectable “Themes”: multicolor or line-art, also supports greyscale output.
• GUI: media can be browsed directly in the Persons, Families, Sources and Events Edit Mode.
• GUI: direct access to Kekulé numbering via main window.
• GUI: improved Auto-Zoom (charts).
• GUI: improved Fit-to-Screen (charts).
• GUI: many added contextual menus (right mouse button/CTRL-click).
• GUI: improved list views.
• GUI: many usability improvements including Drag’n'Drop support.
• Performance enhancements.
• Some minor issues fixed.

19 February 2008

New Genealogy Magazine: Discovering Family History

Discovering Family History is the latest magazine from the publishers of Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy and History Magazine. This new bi-monthly magazine is targeted at people who are starting their genealogy, need a refresher course or are tackling a new aspect of genealogy.

Articles are being written by some of the most respected book and magazine authors ­ and many of them have extensive experience of teaching genealogy courses, either face-to-face or online.

There is an introductory subscription rate of $20 per year (same rate for the US and Canada) and a complete 56-page issue can be downloaded in PDF format.

iScrapbook 1.6.0

iScrapbook 1.6.0 has been released.


• Added some Curved Text controls to the inspector window. Curved text can now be set to: Circular or Spiral. The spiral “rate” can be adjusted from “Slow” to “Fast”. Spiral text works best with larger text boxes.
• Added stepper buttons next to the font size field in the inspector window. This makes it much easier to resize text.
• iScrapbook can now read “Template Libraries” which contain multiple page/album templates. Previously, each template had to be added separately.


• Previously, when an album template was added to the software, the page size wasn’t read correctly which resulted in the template being placed in the wrong folder — fixed.
• Fixed a problem with the included “Suede” templates (the picture frames & text were incorrectly placed on the background layer).
• Fixed a crash that would occur when printing documents with images whose settings (hue, saturation, image effects, etc.) had been changed. This only occurred under Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).
• Fixed a crash that occurred when printing a document with a large background image (where the background image resolution exceeded the Print Quality preference).

Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Family Group Record - Fixed a line spacing problem when an event paragraph continued over a pagebreak.
• Legacy Import - Selecting to overwrite existing event definition with the incoming one was skipping the very first one it encountered. Fixed.
• Merge - When creating Alt events for items we were not adding the period after the Alt abreviation. We were creating things like “Alt Birth” and they should have been “Alt. Birth” to match existing events.

GEDmill 1.10.2

GEDmill 1.10.2 has been released.


• Improved exclude/include functions to make them faster and more accurate.
• Changed HRs to DIVs to make them more amenable to CSS style changes.
• Excluded individuals’ names appear in the index if the option to show names is selected.

FotoTagger 2.8

FotoTagger 2.8 has been released.


• Add, edit or delete comments for a group of images at once in Organize mode.
• View comments for multiple images in Organize mode.

Osk 4.21.2

Osk 4.21.2 has been released.


• If a multimedia file was corrupt or damaged in anyway or not found, the program could stop working. This bug is now fixed for both Mac OS X and Windows.

Ezitree 10.31

Ezitree 10.31 has been released.


• New fields for Linked witnesses to record the relationship and upgrade the event date if necessary.
• Added new sort country/state sequence for selecting state codes.

Simple Family Tree 1.31

Simple Family Tree 1.31 has been released.


• Fixes a couple of bugs.

18 February 2008

Personalize your Online Family Tree browsing

Building your online family tree is fast and easy. But do you know that GeneaNet offers powerful and free features to personalize it?

The main purpose of GeneaNet is to share. When publishing your family tree data, you make it accessible to friends and other family members but it will become public for all other visitors to enjoy. GeneaNet offers you powerful and free features to personalize your online family tree so it will be pleasant and original.

To personalize your family tree, select the "My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Customize" menu, then the "Presentation, Browsing" option.

Family Tree Individuals

Fly over the thumbnails to see a preview of the templates.

Template "A" is the most simple and it only shows name, first name, birth date and death date of the individual parents. Template "I" is the most complete and it shows descendants lists, birth date and death date of the indivudial family members, etc.)

GeneaNet - personnaliser son arbre
Some templates show ascendant lists, images, sibling, etc.


Select the number of generations to be displayed on ascendant/descendant lists, the number of relatives, the number of individuals to be treated in the statistics, the display of surnames, etc.

You can also choose to hide your family tree notes. If not, check that no personal information has been entered in your notes!

14 February 2008

GedStar Basic 5.2a

GedStar Basic 5.2a has been released.


• Supports hi-res 320×320 screens and the expanded 320×480 screen mode on various models of Tungsten, Clie, and Garmin iQue.

Behold alpha

Behold alpha has been released.


• Two small bug fixes.

Simple Family Tree 1.31

Simple Family Tree 1.31 has been released.


• Adds Font selection to Menu.
• Fixes two bugs.
• Removes requirement for sex info in older data.

GeneoTree 3.21

GeneoTree 3.21 has been released.


• Admin: Add date of the GEDCOM file.
• Source: Add new criteria “OTHER”.
• Source: Add Excel export for new criterias.
• Compliant with last PHP releases.

Osk 4.21.1

Osk 4.21.1 has been released.


• Brand new GEDCOM export. The old GEDCOM exporter could cause crashes and hang up the machine for a period of a time.

12 February 2008

Digital databases for the Domesday Book

"Not even one ox, nor one cow, nor one pig was left out." But what William the Conqueror didn't have in the Domesday Book was an easy way of searching its reams of data. It has taken more than 900 years, but at last the internet has provided a solution.

An academic at Hull University has produced the world's first complete, freely available online version.

Professor John Palmer, whose work on the Domesday Book stretches back 25 years, has transformed its handwritten parchment pages into a database with searchable indexes, a detailed commentary and the ability to organise all its statistics in a tabulated format.

Continue reading...

11 February 2008

BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Scores Asian Deal

activeTV has optioned the format rights to the hit BBC celebrity ancestry series Who Do You Think You Are? from British independent outfit Wall to Wall.

The series was recently commissioned for a fifth season in the U.K., and has also been a ratings success on Australian pubcaster SBS. A locally produced version also airs in Canada on the CBC.

GEDitCOM 3.81

GEDitCOM 3.81 has been released.

Changes :

• Add support for interaction with GEDitCOM II (i.e, can read GEDitCOM II packages and display their research logs).
• Fixed a bug printing records with links to non-printable multimedia (e.g., movies and sound files).
• Fixed bug that would crash when opening a Multimedia Record linked to a web site with a long name.
•Two new export styles are available for downloading (last two in this table).

JGen (Joomla Genealogy Database) 0.9.67

JGen (Joomla Genealogy Database) 0.9.67 has been released.


• Fixed bug where adding of new individuals was no longer possible.

8 February 2008

Viking Blood Courses Through Veins Of Many A Northwest Englander

The blood of the Vikings is still coursing through the veins of men living in the North West of England — according to a new study which has been just published.

Focusing on the Wirral in Merseyside and West Lancashire the study of 100 men, whose surnames were in existence as far back as medieval times, has revealed that 50 per cent of their DNA is specifically linked to Scandinavian ancestry.

The collaborative study, by The University of Nottingham, the University of Leicester and University College London, reveals that the population in parts of northwest England carries up to 50 per cent male Norse origins, about the same as modern Orkney.

Continue reading...

iFamily for Tiger 2.341

iFamily for Tiger 2.341 has been released.


• Event Names Editor, Merge Two People, Family Dialog, Sources Dialog and Context Diagram: Minor corrections to avoid the possibility of a very occasional error when deleting a Person, Event or Source.
• Disconnect Person: Enhanced the recording of Undo action names in the undo manager to make undo more informative.
• Main Menu: Added a main menu option called File -> Save. It simply explains that a manual save is not required because iFamily automatically does a save very frequently - nearly every time you make a change. All database saves are done in background so that the user does not notice them being done.
• Sources Add/Edit Dialog and Source Search Dialog: Reduced the initial size of the Sources Add/Edit and Search dialogs to always fit correctly on a 1024 x 768 screen, with the Dock unhidden and full size.

• Spurious Messages in the System Log File: Stopped iFamily (under Leopard) from reporting spurious Core-Graphics “errors” to the System Log file. iFamily already detected the error and made an appropriate correction. The error messages in the system.log file were unnecessary.
• Project Views Add/Edit Dialog: Reduced the initial size of the Project Views Add/Edit dialog.
• Ancestors and Descendants Diagrams: Where no marriage event has been entered the spouse is now prefixed with + in lieu of m.
• GEDCOM Export: Added a user preference to indent or not indent the lines in the GEDCOM file.
• GEDCOM Export: Enhanced to sort FAMS records within an INDI record by marriage date.
• Context Diagram: Corrected an error that may (very occasionally) cause a minor problem when displaying the Context Diagram.
• Event Places Editor: Added buttons for “Refresh” and “Move Place Name to Notes” - to assist editing after import of “Facts” from an FTM GeEDCOM file.
• Memory Management: Tuned various functions to reduce the memory usage and increase speed of response on both Tiger and Leopard. The improvements from this tuning are modest and will only be noticed on large databases with more than 20,000 people.
• Google Maps Save Panel: The options for saving the Event geocodes and the People’s map images are now saved as user preferences. They previously defaulted to the first option each time the Google Maps Save dialog was invoked.
• Google Maps Save Panel: Added option to not save any map images.

JGen (Joomla Genealogy Database) 0.9.66

JGen (Joomla Genealogy Database) 0.9.66 has been released.


• Yet another modification in exporting dates.
• Added field for hiding individuals from JGen_Today (Requires 0.1.2 Mod_JGen_Today).

6 February 2008

Publish your family pictures on GeneaNet

There are actually two ways to publish family pictures on GeneaNet: the photo gallery and the online family tree. Each method works a little bit differently and they are not connected.


GeneaNet - photos et portraitsSelect the My GeneaNet : Galleries : Pictures menu.

Then you will be taken to a page where you can upload one picture or several picures at a time, and manage your album.

1. Files that can be uploaded:
All images must be in the file format of: .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png.

2. Upload picture:
First, fill in all required information. If you can't identify the picture, check the "add this portrait in the unidentified photos database" option and the other searchers could help you.

To upload several pictures at a time, you will need to build a batch text file. The file format is clearly explained on the site.

3. Manage your album:
You can remove any picture from your album or modify the information of any picture. To replace (overwrite) a picture, you will need to delete it and upload it again.

Note: The purpose is to share ancestors pictures so the family picture gallery is moderated. Please, don't try to upload a photo of your baby!

GeneaNet - photos et portraits


1. Files that can be uploaded:
All images must be in the file format of: .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png.

2. Attach a picture to an individual:
Go to your online family tree homepage. Log in as a "wizard" and select an individual. On the bottom of the page, click on the "Update Individual, Family, Media" link. You will be taken to a new page where you will just have to click on the "Send an image" link (see below) to upload a picture.

GeneaNet - envoyer une photo

Note: The images attached to a GEDCOM file are not imported in your online family tree. You will need to upload them manually. But the images won't be removed and their links won't be broken each time you will update your online family tree from a GEDCOM file!

GeneaNet - envoyer une photo


You can attach an external picture to an individual but it will be deleted each time you will update your online family tree from a GEDCOM file!

5 February 2008

US National Archives to Hold 22nd Annual Preservation Conference

The National Archives will host a preservation conference entitled The ABCs of Modern Fire Suppression In Cultural Institutions on Monday, March 10, 2008.

The conference program will provide an in-depth review of fire suppression systems appropriate for the protection of archives and other cultural property. There will be an examination of what had been utilized in the past and what modern systems are being used effectively. The program will also feature insights as to what fire suppression technologies might be utilized in the future and how cultural institutions might adapt in an environment of shrinking budgets but increasing volumes of holdings needing to be safeguarded.

Visit for more details.

4 February 2008

GEDmill 1.10.1

GEDmill 1.10.1 has been released.


• Custom footer text appears even when no other footer info present.
• Updated Pro help on tree diagrams.
• Fixed problem with missing key individuals.

Personal Ancestry Writer II v77

Personal Ancestry Writer II v77 has been released.

Changes :

• The More Tag menu items Tag People with No Parents, No Partners, No Children, No Relatives and No Vital Information have been moved under the new menu item Tag People with No >, and the More Tag menu items reordered.
• A new menu item Tag People Last Changed on has been added to the More Tag menu. Choosing this menu item tags people who were last changed on a specified date, or within a specified range of dates (e.g., Feb 2008, Aft 15 Feb 2008, 2007/8, 2006-9).
• A person’s record is date-stamped whenever the Enter button is clicked in the Person window (no checking is done to see if anything has really changed). The record is also date-stamped whenever the Enter button is clicked in a person’s note window, and when the Merge button is clicked in a Merge window.

• The date stamp will also be set if it exists in an imported GEDCOM file and will be saved in an exported GEDCOM file.
• Date-stamping is limited to the above cases. A record will NOT be date-stamped when LDS ordinances are added or edited; when records are changed by Find and Replace in All Places or All Notes, when marriage information is changed; when people are added to or removed from families; nor when tagged people are marked as living.
• The date stamp (along with other summary information) in a person’s record can be viewed by holding down the option key and moving the cursor into the person¹s button in the main window, the pedigree window and the descent window, and by option-clicking the person’s entry in the family window.
• An FRIN column has been added to the tab-delimited text file to be imported into a spreadsheet.
• The FRIN column contains the FRIN for marriage events and the parents’ FRIN for the other events (birth, baptism, death and burial). The FRIN is zero-filled and preceded by the letter F. Then sorting the spreadsheet on the FRIN column and within that on the date column will group all the events for each family together (sort of a mini family group record or timeline), normally placing the marriage events for the parents first, followed by the non-marriage events for the children. The sequence of events within a family would of course depend upon having dates entered.
• People who are not children of a tagged parent use their zero-filled RINs preceded by the letter R for their non-marriage events in order to keep those events together and sorted separately from the families. Their rows may be deleted if of no interest.
• All members of the families of interest (both partners and all their children) should be tagged, and at least birth and marriage events should be included in the text file.
• Manually inserting a blank row between families after sorting increases the readability of the spreadsheet.
• The Draft window (command-H) now includes the notes for any partners of the selected person. This more closely approximates the format which appears in reports (at the expense of a bit more time to display).
• The Sex field in the Person window now permits entry of the letter U for unknown gender. If the Sex field is blank when the Enter button is clicked, an alert will ask whether to automatically enter U and close the window or to continue with further data entry in the Person window.
• Places names in HTML pedigrees and descendant lists, both in standalone generated files and in generated web sites, have been expanded to full place names, and an error in descendant lists has been corrected.
• The Reference Guide was updated to reflect these changes.

TreeDraw 3.1.4

TreeDraw 3.1.4 has been released.


• Re-fixed a problem running the program on systems without a C: drive.

Osk 4.20.1

Osk 4.20.1 has been released.


• Both Mac OS X and Windows version was updated.
• Fixed a few bugs with windows displaying.
• Simplified adding new persons.
• Improved date support.
• Better handling of importing dates with GEDCOM import.
• Now you can add new persons directly as children, spouses and parents.
• Easier to connect people.
• And many new things.

Budweiser Traces Your Family Tree To Roots In Africa

Anheuser-Busch and its flagship brand Budweiser will help one person win the chance of a lifetime: discovering their family’s origins and the opportunity to travel to that destination to retrace their family’s history.

The sweepstakes, "Discover Your History", provides a grand prize that includes a trip for the winner and three guests to explore their ancestral background as determined via genetic testing. The journey includes round-trip air transportation and two double-occupancy hotel rooms for up to nine nights and a completed family tree. Nine First Prizes also will be awarded and consist of genetic genealogy testing and ancestral family tree research. Official sweepstakes rules, instructions and an online registration form can be obtained at

Continue reading...